Penguins' Crosby says he could miss rest of season
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Sidney Crosby was back in the Penguins locker room Thursday, refreshed after a vacation he noted was based on doctor's orders.
"They just kind of told me to get out," the star center cracked.
Advice from the same medical staff has convinced Crosby that there is no guarantee he will recover from his concussion in time to play again this season, but he's going on the assumption that he will return before that becomes an issue.
"Geez, I hope so," Crosby said. "You know what? [Missing the rest of the season] could happen. But am I sitting here packing it in? No. I hope I'm back and, geez, I hope I play this year. But that's the thing with these things -- you don't know. There's no time frame. I'm expecting to play this year."
Internet reports and rumors have dogged Crosby, including speculation that it's a foregone conclusion his season is over.
"I'm sure there's a thousand different things being said out there, and that's one of them, but I expect to be playing," he said.
Crosby did not indicate whether he was still doing light workouts, which he got approval for about two weeks ago, or describe any remaining symptoms.
He will miss his 16th game tonight when the Penguins play on the road against the New York Islanders. He was leading the NHL with 66 points in 41 games when he left the lineup.
Crosby said the injury continues to concern him.
"Yeah, it's really scary," he said.
"There's not anything you can really compare it to. As far as being out and being away, how to deal with that, probably going back to when I hurt my ankle [in 2008], that helps me a bit.
"But this is a little different, when you're talking about your brain. It's scary, but to a certain extent there's nothing you can do except give yourself a chance to heal and hope that it happens sooner rather than later."
Crosby's main course of action is letting the medical staff know exactly what he's feeling so he can be accurately monitored. He has a record of being forthcoming with the Penguins about medical issues. He has sat out games, for example, because of a sore groin that he feared would keep him out longer if not given a chance to rest.
"I'm getting better; it's just slow," he said. "That's the tough part. The progression is improving, but it's at a slower rate than I'd want it to be. But it's out of my control.
"You just hope that [things will get back to normal] with time, and the quicker, the better. There's no timetable whatsoever. It's impossible to gauge or really put a number of days or a timetable on it."
Crosby took differing blows to the head from Washington's David Steckel Jan. 1 and Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman Jan. 5. He was diagnosed with a mild concussion Jan. 6 and initially was projected to miss about a week.
"We first got the diagnosis from the doctor as a, quote-unquote, mild concussion -- that's a doctors' term -- [but] this has kind of gotten to a point where him having symptoms, not being symptom-free, has dragged out a little bit," coach Dan Bylsma said. "It has been a situation where it's a little scary, using Sid's words.
"It's good to see him back here in town. It's good to see his smiling face and know that he's doing better. That was something good for everyone to see."
Crosby spent a week or more with his parents in a warm climate after he was coaxed by a Penguins doctor to take a mental break.
"I was here during the all-star break when everyone was gone, and it was getting pretty long, just staying in one spot. Kind of getting stir crazy," Crosby said. "You think about your injury and you're being reminded of it constantly. He just thought that it would be a little better to go somewhere and relax and not be asked about it as much.
"It's not the easiest thing to come in every day hoping to do something. It's great that everyone asks how you're doing, but I think it's just a constant reminder that you're not playing, that you're injured. Sometimes, it's just kind of good to get away from that a bit."
"The progression is improving, but it's at a slower rate than I'd want it to be."
First Published February 11, 2011 12:00 am